Thursday, October 1, 2009

Humility to Avoid Schism

I ran across a fascinating letter from John Wesley to Howell Harris; from what I can gather the English Arminian Methodist, Wesley, was attempting to prevent a doctrinal dispute on Christian Perfection between himself and the Welsh Calvinistic Methodist, Harris. Wesley self-deprecatingly speaks of himself in the letter dated August 6, 1742:
Brother, is thy heart with mine, as my heart is with thy heart? If it be, give me thy hand. I am indeed a poor, foolish, sinful worm ; and how long my Lord will use me, I know not. I sometimes think, the time is coming when He will lay me aside. For surely, never before did He send such a labourer into such a harvest. (xiii. 159)
Wesley betrays no presumption that the ministry the Lord gave him was his by right or worth; the Anglican priest from Epworth makes himself of no repute and praises in wonderment the grace of God. It's a beautiful letter of humility. Let us all learn to use such virtues lavishly.